While last week’s’s ruling is ostensibly about so-called gay rights, there is in fact a larger issue at play here. A single federal judge overruled the will of the people of California as expressed in a fair and legitimate election. This is a significant blow to a Constitution established by the People. It puts the arbitrary whim of a federal judge (who, as an openly homosexual person is not exactly an unbiased moderator) over the legitimate outcome of an election.
No challenge has been made to the integrity of the election. Yet, much has been made about the motivations of those who voted for the measure. Ultimately, the motivations of the electoral are inconsequential. What matters is the will of the people as expressed either directly by the people themselves or indirectly through their elected representatives. Ours is a nation whose government derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed.” The consent of the governed in this case is to define marriage as between a man and a woman. This question of the legitimacy of the will of the people as expressed in Proposition 8 is the real issue in this case. The gay rights agenda is really just a front to mask a question of much larger constitutional significance.
But consider the implications here. If a single judge can essentially veto the decision of over 7 million citizens in the case of something as basic as the definition of marriage on the basis that those citizens are bigots, by what is he bound? Supposing the judge’s preferred Senate candidate didn’t win the election. Could he assert that the people are in some way bigoted and thus reverse the results of the election and install his own preferred candidate? What is even the point of voting if a judge can simply throw out a legitimate election? The implications of this decision extend far beyond the ability of gays and lesbians to enter into legal marriages. The implications of this decision call into question the very nature of our Republic. How different is this judge’s ability to impose his will over and against the will of millions of citizens any different from the ability of Castro or any other dictator to impose his will on an non-consenting citizenry? While gay rights activists may think they have won a victory with this decision, the opposite is true. They and their fellow citizens have lost their fundamental right to a voice in their own government.
By Marc Seelinger
Marc is a student at the UNC-Chapel Hill studying economics and Chinese. When not at school, he lives in Raleigh with his family. At UNC, he’s the Executive Vice-Chair of the UNC College Republicans, and writes for the Carolina Review, UNC’s only conservative student publication. This summer, Marc has been working with Young American’s Foundation as an intern at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, CA.